Remi Mir


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Evaluating Style Transfer for Text
Remi Mir | Bjarke Felbo | Nick Obradovich | Iyad Rahwan
Proceedings of the 2019 Conference of the North American Chapter of the Association for Computational Linguistics: Human Language Technologies, Volume 1 (Long and Short Papers)

Research in the area of style transfer for text is currently bottlenecked by a lack of standard evaluation practices. This paper aims to alleviate this issue by experimentally identifying best practices with a Yelp sentiment dataset. We specify three aspects of interest (style transfer intensity, content preservation, and naturalness) and show how to obtain more reliable measures of them from human evaluation than in previous work. We propose a set of metrics for automated evaluation and demonstrate that they are more strongly correlated and in agreement with human judgment: direction-corrected Earth Mover’s Distance, Word Mover’s Distance on style-masked texts, and adversarial classification for the respective aspects. We also show that the three examined models exhibit tradeoffs between aspects of interest, demonstrating the importance of evaluating style transfer models at specific points of their tradeoff plots. We release software with our evaluation metrics to facilitate research.